Since March we have witnessed our clients and wider sector adapt to the impact of COVID19 and related lockdown and social distancing measures. We are happy to say that we have been able to support clients to successfully secure much needed emergency funding from the Third Sector Resilience Fund and the Wellbeing Fund. As part of our commitment to a sector we have worked in for nearly two decades (yes, hard to believe) we decided to reach out and give our time free of charge and provide bespoke advice for members of Aberdeen Council for Voluntary Organisations (AVCO) and CVS Inverclyde.
From April, our team have delivered funding surgeries by telephone which have enabled organisations to access support and advice specific to their individual circumstances with the aim of helping them navigate immediate and urgent funding and service delivery challenges. We have since heard from a range of organisations, with diverse aims and supported a variety of groups in Aberdeen City and across Inverclyde including Absafe, Team Jack Foundation, Westburn Development Trust and Kidron Project.
Organisations have undoubtedly been impacted by loss of trading and grant income, and in many cases, this is compounded by existing client groups requiring additional support to manage daily life. The flexibility of grant funders alongside the availability of emergency funds has been a lifeline for many however some find that their existing funding strategy cannot be delivered as funders suspend their standard grant programme until further notice.
Our experience of fundraising, project development, business planning and project management has been critical in offering organisations insight and practical solutions which have involved:
- identifying funds for specific projects/items of expenditure,
- helping to identify short term and medium-term funding strategies,
- establishing how to diversify income in the new ‘normal’,
- providing advice on eligibility of support from specific funders,
- help with editing a funding application,
- advising on funding opportunities to safeguard the future of an A Listed building,
- discussing new ways of delivering services.
We have also learned a lot too, talked to some very inspiring people and hopefully made a practical difference to third sector organisations so that they can continue to support some of those in greatest need within our communities.